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Wednesday 13th December
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Red Ribbon Week, Pam, Texas, USA (24.10.04)

This week we will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week. So much of the violence in America comes because of drugs. Substance abuse of different kinds (including alcohol) causes much pain and disfunction in many families in the U.S. During this next week, we are all taking a pledge not to take drugs and to fight against drugs in the schools.

Peer Pressure - student, Siberia, Russia (24.10.04)

Some students feel big pressure from classmates and friends. For example, if a student refuses to take and smoke cigarette, his friends tell him that he is weak and little child and not grown up. More than half of students in 9th grade, both girls and boys already smoke. Later, in 10th and 11th grade this number rises. One of the reasons that some students start smoking is not because they want to, but because they are afraid to become laugh subjects of their classmates. We think that school and society must break values which are popular among young people and install other values. Young people must believe that it is "cool" to have their own opinion and that it is on the contrary the behaviour of a developed person to refuse participation in bad things.

Disagree Respectfully - Brad, Texas, USA (25.10.04)

I have read the emails speaking of violence. I wish I could tell you that we can vanquish all violence from the world. We cannot. There have been disagreements since man first gathered together. Our challenge is to learn to disagree respectfully, as we work on the cause of the disagreement. We must do what we can to reduce the violence until that time when man realizes that violence does not bring success, but only more violence.

... To the left of my computer, there is a banner on the wall. It says, "Stand up for what is right, even if you're standing alone."

Indiscipline in Schools - teacher from South Africa (26.10.04)

This is indeed a very touchy topic. Indiscipline happens in most schools. In South Africa, caning school pupils as a form of punishment was declared illegal. Pupils feel that they have all rights to hit other children because they will not be punished in the same way. We are passing through a transition stage politically and many parents do complain that this too has impacted in the way they discipline children at home. ... So many radio talk shows debate this topic; the rate of children being violent to each other has risen that we fear that may be the worst is yet to come. How do we control anger that leads to violence?

Violence Prevention - John, Shaoguan, China (26.10.04)

Many schools in China have a part-time honourable school principal from local officers of Justice Bureau of government. The school usually has a seminar on social problems once or twice a school semester. Students learn a lot about how crimes happen in our social communities.

Rozalija, Croatia (26.10.04)

If we want to truly live and gather the harvest from the words of non-violence, we should accept the theory of global peace someday in the future. That's why we, the teachers, having so many bad experiences in the past, are longing to raise children who will be educated to be peacemakers; it's the most precious gift.

Teacher from Brazil (26.10.04)

Here in Brazil we have no wars, but the violence still exists and the worst form, in my opinion, is when it affects the children ... Thanks to some NGOs here in my country we are doing projects that show the importance of the children in our society and how we can make things easier for them in terms of studies, sports, leisure activities and others.

Weapons in School - pupil from the USA (27.10.04)

I think you could prevent school violence by having metal detectors at the doorways. This way guns knives and other weapons couldn't be brought to school. Another way would be to have the kids talk to each other and discourage violence.

Problems in School - pupil from the USA (28.10.04)

We think that peer pressure is a big problem, specially in our age. To fight against it we need to have a strong character and make our own decisions. We mustn't hang out with people who are making pressure on us. Only true friends are those who respect our opinion.

Wanni from Sri Lanka (28.10.04)

"Hatred ceases not by hatred, but by love". These words in Pali are "Nahi Verena Verani Sammantidha Kudachanan. Averenacha Sammanthi. Esa Dhammo Sananthano." Lord Buddha

Rob from Ontario, Canada (28.10.04)

Many great people like Martin Luther King Jr. started out with a simple dream of peace and equality. Today that dream is kept alive by our youth through their words and actions everyday.

Pupil from Israel - reply to pupil in Azerbaijan (3.11.04)

I love Rosh Ha'ain (my city). I like football. I'm from Israel. Where are you from? I'm 10 years old. How old are you?

Pupil from Azerbaijan (4.11.04)

Hi, I study English and Russian at school. Do you know what is fasting? At the moment we are in the Ramazan. It is the most sacred month.

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